A major two-day literary festival featuring a handful of literary greats will conclude several months of events celebrating the 60th anniversary of The Georgia Review, UGA’s internationally known quarterly literary journal.
“It’s pretty remarkable that given all the changes in the world—in the university, in the South, the literary world in general—we’ve been able to hang in there as long as we have,” said David Ingle, the Review’s assistant editor.
Ingle said the journal owes its longevity to its flexibility and ability to adapt to the times. In particular, the mid-1970s saw the journal’s scope broaden from a regional publication to a national and international one.
“I’m proud of us for being able to roll with things that way,” Ingle said. “We’re awfully glad to be here.”
Ingle, who has worked at the Review for seven years, remembers the first story that blew him away: a short story by Kevin Brockmeier that was on the slush pile. That story—“These Hands,” which appeared in the Review’s fall 1999 issue—won an O. Henry Prize that year.
Brockmeier, who has published a short story collection and two novels since first appearing in the Review in 1999, is one of four writers who will be in Athens Feb. 26-27 for the festival. He will be joined by poet and essayist Albert Goldbarth; Paul Zimmer, a poet, essayist and publisher who served as director of the UGA Press in 1978-84; and Judith Kitchen, an essayist, novelist, poet, publisher and critic who has written essays for the Review since 1990.
Zimmer and Kitchen will participate in a one-hour panel discussion about literary book publishing in the U.S. at 3:30 p.m. Feb. 26 in Demosthenian Hall. The Review’s acting editor, Stephen Corey, will moderate.
Zimmer and Kitchen will read from their work that evening at 7 p.m. in the Chapel, with a reception and book signing following.
On Feb. 27 from 3:30-4:30 p.m. at the Chapel, all four writers will participate in a round-table discussion on literary magazine publishing in the U.S. Corey and Ingle will moderate. At 7 p.m. in the Chapel, Brockmeier and Goldbarth will read from their work, with a reception and book signing following.
For those who may have an impression of poetry reading being a staid affair, Ingle assures that these writers are known for their accessibility, particularly Goldbarth.
“He’s absolutely, hands-down, the best American poet writing today,” Ingle said of Goldbarth. “He’s also very funny, very lively and personable.”